The Gawkadal Bridge stands witness to Paradise lost
The cold silver of Jhelum drapes the bodies of her brave children;
Where is consent of the governed in this land?
Where is political participation in the world’s largest democracy?
Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast
Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast (1)
A lost generation sings:
I can withstand injustice —
Understand it to seek Truth,
But I abhor the depravity of violence
I can withstand pain as long as it makes sense;
It is senseless suffering that I fear
I can withstand the djinns of anger,
As long as there is growth
I fear an impotent rage
1. A Persian couplet uttered in reference to the staggering beauty of Kashmir by the iconic Sufi poet Amir Khusrau. It means:
If there is paradise on earth,
It is this, it is this, it is this.
To the victims of Gawkadal massacre (20/1/1990), in memoriam
(Photograph by Vivek Menezes)
by Megha Arora